Leave a comment
Chuks Udo Okonta
The Commissioner for Insurance Mohammed Kari, has dared aggrieved insurance operators to make public the charges paid to the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) that has culminated in their inability to pay dividends to their shareholders.
He disclosed this at an event organised by Champion Newspaper in Lagos, while reacting to the claims by shareholders that they are denied dividends due to fines and penalties paid by their companies to NAICOM. He noted that the commission has refrained from joining issues with the shareholders on the pages of Newspapers because it believes that they are deliberately being misinformed, misled and used as stooges by management of some insurance companies to cover up their gross financial mismanagement of these companies.
“Meanwhile, for the benefit of discerning shareholders of quoted insurance companies and the general public, I want to say that as a government agency that believes in the rule of law, NAICOM has never charged insurance institutions any levy outside the law that governs its operations.
“Let me use this medium to invite management of all insurance companies to make public the charges they have incurred from NAICOM which are outside the extant laws governing the sector.
“I also urge them to make public the sum total of charges each company has paid to NAICOM at the end of a financial year in relation to their Gross Premium Income that has culminated in their inability to pay dividends to their shareholders,” he said.
He noted that insurance is a regulated business, stressing that operators who choose to play in the sector must be prepared to do so in strict compliance with the extant insurance laws and that fines and sanctions for any default/infraction by an operator are clearly spent out in the respective laws to the knowledge and understanding of the operators.
Kari stated that the law may not be perfect, but as long as it remains the law, its provisions must be complied with and it is the responsibility of NAICOM, as the statutory regulatory agency of the sector to ensure every operator play by the rule.
He advised shareholders of insurance companies to demand explanations from their respective managements to ascertain reasons they continue to incur sanctions from the regulator; incur high management expenses; fail to take advantage of the huge potentials in the market and as well, the various market development initiatives introduced by NAICOM to expand their businesses, grow their revenue income and improve on their bottom-line to guarantee enhanced dividend pay out to their shareholders, adding that NAICOM is looking at these details and may be making them public in due course.